Ankara, September 23, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
Meeting with Putin for Syria and the Turkish Stream
By Manolis Kostidis
The President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid an official visit to Russia to attend the inauguration of the renovated mosque in Moscow.
The opening was also attended by the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmud Abbas. This particular mosque is 111 years old and its renovation cost USD 120 million, funded by the businessman Suleyman Karimov.
The Turkish President later met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and the two men reportedly discussed on two main topics, the postponement of the construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline and the issue of Syria.
That was why the Turkish President was accompanied by Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu and Energy Minister Ali Rıza Alaboyun.
On the issue of Syria, Ankara appears annoyed by the information of the transfer of russian military material to Asad’s regime, as well as Russia’s support for the leader of the country Basar Al Asad. The core of the Turkish foreign policy was the overthrow of Syrian President to stop the civil war in Syria.
Moscow, however, has a different view on the matter, since it supports Asad and believes that the jihadists who control much of the country is the biggest risk in the Middle East. Russia has recent memories of the war in Chechnya and does not want a similar situation to unfold in Syria, since it would jeopardise its naval and air bases.
On this issue there are significant disagreements between the two sides. Turkey is home to 2 million refugees from Syria.
The postponement of the construction of Turkish Stream, as Russia is unwilling to sign the agreement at this time, is possibly linked to the stance maintained by Turkey on the issue of Syria. As such, the meeting Putin-Erdogan may bring developments on both these issues.